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GM: Doing Well In Dubai, But Can It Get Healthy Back Home?

Dubai
Dubai

I admit it, this is not what I expected when I landed in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I didn't expect to travel halfway around the world to see first hand that the automaker in my back yard is highly regarded.

Last night, I went to the GM Style Showcase here in Dubaiwhere "stars and cars" share the runway. It was impressive and just as the GM Style event in Detroit raised the automaker's profile last spring, I expect the same thing to happen with this event here in Dubai. Not only that, but in driving around the UAE and talking with people, it's clear GM and particularly Chevy are doing ok.

This is not surprising given the way Chevy is taking off around the world. In Europe, GM's number one brand is also one of the fastest growing.

It makes me wonder if GM can ever restore the luster back home. Years of cutbacks, recalls, quarterly losses have left American's jaded about the domestic automakers. You know how many times I've met someone from the East or West coast when they are visiting the Midwest who has said, "Wow, look at how many Chevys or Fords are around here?" These people act like a domestic car or truck is a relic.

I hope GM, and Ford , and Chrysler can all revive the images back home. In some ways it's already happening. But the full turn around will take years.

Talk about culture shock. An American boy goes overseas to see his country's number one automaker is doing ok.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com

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